I like The Flame Broiler, which is to say, I am addicted like a smack addict to the marinade and magic sauce used on the meat. They aren’t giving up the recipe; until then, a simple Korean(ish) BBQ sauce will do. I was going to research a shitload of recipes and test them all out, but the first one I found was close enough to the stated ingredients and taste of the smack that I have called off the search.
The magic sauce is basically soy sauce; sugar; mirin (a sweet, tangy rice wine); modified food starch and ginger. The marinade subtracts the starch and adds garlic. I like heat (and they aren’t giving up their hot sauce recipe, either), so with a bit of fiddling, I can get a marinade or a mild BBQ sauce out of the same base recipe:
- 240g soy sauce
- 144g brown sugar
- 15g rice wine vinegar (or mirin, if you have it – I don’t)
- 1t ginger, minced (I used a spice grater on a fresh chunk)
- 1t sesame oil
Option 1: For Marinade, Add
- 6 garlic cloves, minced (I used a garlic press; Anthony Bourdain looked on with disdain)
- 18g chili paste (1T chili flake should also work; I used a garlic-chili paste from the Asian foods section)
Option 2: For BBQ Sauce, Add
- 1T corn starch, mixed with
- 1T water
If you’re making marinade, scale the base and Option 1 ingredients into a pan, give it a stir, bring it up to a boil then remove it from the heat. A quarter of a batch is plenty for 8 ounces of meat; the rest can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge. The chili paste will not add a significant amount of heat after a 30-minute marinade – just a delicious counter to the sweetness.
If you’re making BBQ sauce, scale the base ingredients into a pan, bring it to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and stir in the corn starch slurry, letting it heat through for 60 seconds or so. It will thicken as it cools. Chili paste and garlic can also be added to the base ingredients for a spicy, garlicky BBQ sauce, but adjust those ingredients to your taste. Unlike the marinade, you will get the full effect of both.
(Yes, I did cave to my inner Hipster, and marked the photo. I really liked that shot – the light box does wonders!)